Mesothelioma diagnosis of pleural effusion is often achieved using a simple chest x-ray, also CT scans or ultrasound can also be effective.
A special x-ray diagnosis, known as a lateral decubitus film, can be effective in detecting smaller effusions and to assist the mesothelioma doctor in calculating the amount of fluid.
If the main cause of the pleural effusion is already seen (an example, as in the condition of severe congestive heart failure), evaluation of the fluid may be unnecessary.
Nevertheless, because pleural effusion may a symptom of some other diseases ranging from benign to malignant, a fluid specimen is the usually done.
A diagnostic thoracentesis, whereby the cells are elimininated from the pleural cavity, is usually carried out on mesothelioma patients if there is the possibility of mesothelioma cancers.
Moreover, in around 85% of mesothelioma patients, the fluid have often times tested negative or uncomfirmatory despite the fact that there is the presence of mesothelioma cancers.
A CT scan, MRI, positron emission tomography (PET), or an ultrasound can be performed also at this time. They often times referred to as imaging techniques.
These imaging techniques can be used and their value in diagnosing and assessing mesothelioma is also very high.
The use of imaging techniques in mesothelioma diagnosis has been proved useful following the mesothelioma patients previous history. Although, these imaging techniques have been very helpful in the diagnosis of the possibility of mesothelioma cancers, comfirmatory diagnosis is still usually ascertained using fluid diagnosis or tissue biopsy.
It is ultimately a needle biopsy of the pleura (lining of the lung) or an open surgical biopsy which confirms a mesothelioma diagnosis.